Starbucks plans to open a stand-alone store on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast. (Courtesy photo)
**FILE** Starbucks plans to open a stand-alone store on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast. (Courtesy photo)

The popular coffee shop Starbucks, along with Chase Bank, will take occupancy as tenants at the Skyland Town Center.

As part of a recently signed deal, Starbucks will open its first stand-alone drive-thru shop in the East End of the District at Skyland in Ward 7.

D.C. Council member Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) expressed enthusiasm for the Starbucks deal.

“We have worked relentlessly to bring a solid anchor to Skyland after Walmart reneged and withdrew its commitment to locate at Skyland,” Gray said. “This is another substantial step toward bringing more retail options and ensuring the future of Skyland as a desired location for retail opportunities.”

Skyland will consist of 130,000 square feet of retail, a Lidl supermarket, a medical building and more than 260 residential rental units. The development of Skyland has been a process that has taken decades over several District mayoral administrations.

There are plans for a Starbucks in Ward 8 at the Maple View Flats development in Anacostia.

The Starbucks shops are a part of the economic development strategy of the Bowser administration and Gray’s advocacy for more retail, sit-down restaurants and full-service grocery stores in east of the Anacostia River neighborhoods.

Gray and other District officials also met with Starbucks executives to discuss opportunities such as the Skyland deal at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual Recon conference in Las Vegas last year.

Gray noted his proactive stance on boosting the economic prospects of his ward through legislation since rejoining the D.C. Council in 2017.

“Since my return to the council I have introduced three East End bills focused on ending food deserts in Wards 7 and 8 by incentivizing greater economic development and bringing needed amenities to the East End,” he said. “One of these bills targets nine developments sites in Wards 7 and 8, including Skyland, for retail and full-service grocery stores. The Starbucks announcement is a major win for Ward 7 and District residents.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our partners, stakeholders and my Ward 7 Economic Development Advisory Council to bring even more desperately needed retail and healthy food options to the East End of the District,” Gray said.

James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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